No idea where to start when it comes to childproofing your home, MH has you covered.
Dr Junaidah Binte Badron from the Department of Emergency Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, shares some tips for parents to keep in mind when child-proofing their home for a crawling baby or walking toddler.
Children younger than seven years should not sleep on double decker beds as they could fall and suffer serious injuries. Suitable pillows should be used in these cots to decrease the chance of suffocation and strangulation.
Parents should also refrain from sleeping with their little ones due to the danger of suffocation when they are unaware, or deep asleep. Sarong cradles are strongly discouraged due to the risk of falls.
There are many potential hazards to children in the kitchen, including hot liquids, sharp utensils like knives and scissors, slippery floors, as well as the washing machines. Curious children can climb into these machines and drown. The height of these children should not be underestimated since they can climb onto chairs or other furniture to reach the high areas. Furthermore, they can tug onto table cloths and the hot liquids can spill on them.
In the toilet, a child must always be supervised by an adult (not good enough to have an older sibling watching) when in the bathroom. Non-slip mats should be used. Toilet seats should be placed down to prevent toddlers from falling in and drowning. Toiletries, cosmetics, and razors have to be stored properly and kept out of their reach. The practice of storing detergents or other hazardous materials in food containers (eg drink bottles) should be abolished. These can cause serious effects to children if they are accidentally ingested.
Living Room/Dining Room
Baby gates should be installed to prevent access to stairs. Power sockets should be covered to prevent easy access to reduce the risk of electrocution. Parents should also be mindful of the decorative items that are placed around the house. For example, a large ornamental glass vase can potentially cause injuries to a child if he plays with it and breaks it in the process. Suitable furniture pieces with rounded edges also help to reduce the risk of injury to these children.
Balconies should have secured doors and grilles to reduce the risk of falls, which can result in morbidity and mortality. In the garden, parents should know the plants' names and their poison potential. To be on the safe side, houseplants should be kept out of the reach of young children. Ponds and swimming pools should have safety barricades to ensure that these young children do not have easy access to these water bodies and risk submersion injury.